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22

Short answer: Not at all! Some languages only have two: past and non-past (English, Japanese). Others have past, present, and future (Ancient Greek). Still others have separate "recent" and "distant" past tenses (Lingála, Swahili). And some have no tense at all (Proto-Indo-European, Mandarin). Long answer: There are two important things to note here. One ...


16

It is not possible for there to be a human language that does not have a way of referring to entities, or to predicate states and actions of an entity. If that is what you mean by "noun" and "verb", then all languages have nouns and verbs. However, noun, verb, adverb, adjective are typically treated by linguists as "word classes", defined in terms of how ...


13

This is a case where we have to distinguish between the ability to express something in a language and the presence or absence of a grammatical structure dedicated to expressing that something. English does not have a grammatical structure dedicated to expressing the inchoative aspect. But it is still possible to express inchoativity by using the verbs ''...


12

In linguistics, “why” is usually a bad question. Actually, in several Indo-European languages the old present tense has died out completely and been replaced by the present participle plus copula. This has happened in Hindi and other North Indian languages. There are similar things in other language families, e.g. in Aramaic. English seems to have gone ...


12

Although it may be tempting to look back towards Old English prototypes, one has to be aware of the time depth of any neologism. That's why finding the first occurrence is so important. The interjection yeet! and the noun yeet (referring to the dance) is dated to 2014 on Vine, which came into more common use among teenagers about the end of 2017. It appears ...


11

The diphthongization of front and back mid vowels that's referred to here is an historical process moving from Classical Latin to Vulgar Latin to Castilian Spanish, over about a millennium. This is the way it works: Classical Latin (ca 0 CE) had long and short vowels. Vulgar Latin (ca 0-1500 CE) lost the Classical vowel length distinction. Vulgar Latin ...


10

Yes. Biblical Hebrew has object suffixes which distinguish the person, gender and number of the object. Example (from the Shema:) ושננתם (veshinantam) "and you shall chew them over", ('ve-shinan-ta-m': "and shall-chew-over you them") Georgian has a set of prefixes and suffixes which combine to show the person and number of the subject and object For ...


10

Although I haven't heard of the term "degrees of passive/active" before, they are almost certainly talking about the verbal stems. This is a concept indeed alien to Western European (or broader) but common to all Semitic languages. The core idea is that the stems differentiate voice and Aktionsart. In an earlier stage of the language (pre-1000 BCE) there ...


10

An interesting, non-exotic, case is German. In the familiar register you can say “geh nach Hause”, “geht nach Hause”, with implicit subject, but you can also say “geh du nach Hause” and “geht Ihr nach Hause” with explicit subject and a slightly more insistent tone. On the other hand, in the polite register you need to say “gehen Sie nach Hause”; the explicit ...


9

I teach my pupils the matter like this (and I hope it’s useful for anyone who reads this thread): Greek has three ways of representing actions (I’m leaving out future tense because it merely expresses tense). [1] as actions in process or repeated actions – durative [all forms beloning to the præsens stem] e.g. θνῃσκ- = to be dying [2] as (merely) ...


9

There is no real way to predict the perfect stem or the supine stem (past-participle stem) of a Latin verb; there are only probabilities. One normally learns the past stems of a verb along with its present stem and conjugation group if they are irregular. The regular suffix to form the perfect stem is by adding -v- to the present stem, so after the theme ...


9

According to Wiktionary (a source I should perhaps have checked before asking), the all- forms ultimately derive from Vulgar Latin alare (attested in the 7th century Reichenau Glosses). This has traditionally been explained as deriving from Latin ambulare via or together with ambler (compare Old Provençal amblar, Italian ambiare, Romanian umbla), but this ...


8

Our English grammatical terminology is taken from Latin, where in turn it is calqued on Greek. Noun = nomen = onoma literally means “name”; the idea is that a noun is the name of a particular person or thing. A verb is not a “name”, but merely a “word” = verbum = rhēma that is predicated to a name/noun. Sometimes the Greeks used rhēma also in a broader sense ...


8

Sometimes this phenomenon is known as the narrative present or (especially by Latinists) historical present. Another potential phenomenon going on is that your dialect has developed relative tense. You might be used to descriptions of language with absolute tense - tense that is in relation to the present, but some languages use some tense relative to a ...


7

There is no special term for a verb which can not be followed by an infinitive, but there are a variety of special terms for those which can. It turns out that treating all verbs that can be followed by an infinitive as a unified class is misguided - they can be divided up into several classes on the basis of certain properties. Control verbs (1) I like ...


7

In English, certainly the most common use of do is Do-Support. DS is invoked whenever a construction requiring an auxiliary verb (like Question or Negative): S: Bill is coming today Ques: Is Bill coming today? Neg: Bill isn't coming today. gets applied to a verb chain without an auxiliary verb in it already; i.e, a bare main verb: S: Bill came today ...


7

The forum linked to in the question provides the key points that answer the question. Irregular forms like those asociated with irregular verbs occur frequently in a language. They have to occur frequently because if they did not, they would disappear, becoming regular. A vivid example of this principle is provided by the strong verbs in Germanic languages ...


7

There are many, indeed. AFAIR, most of them have to be in four meanings (which are the same word in English): to be (an object x is a part of set X), e.g. "this is an apple"; to be (an object x has property of y), e.g. "the box is red" to be (located at), e.g. "I am at the office"; to mean, e.g. "to live is to love"; For example, Thai has เป็น and ใช่ ...


7

The simplest answer is that the English verbal doesn't come from the English verb. They both have a common root in the Latin verbum, word, but came to English via different routes, and took on slightly different meanings in the process. And the Latin verbum means both word and verb, thanks to Greek. Verb According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the ...


7

This phenomenon is called zero copula. It especially common for third person present tense. I recommend that you read on how this is handled in syntax parsers for Russian or Hindi. It was also an issue for Irish, Hungarian, Japanese, Turkish, Arabic and many other languages.


7

I have a field sighting of the form "yoten" to report. In January I was involved with the organizing for the big pro-Second-Amendment demonstration in Richmond, VA. One of the central concerns of the organizers, in view of the extreme hostility of the media against firearms rights, was to keep the demonstration strictly nonviolent. Among the many memes ...


7

As I wrote in a comment, this is one of the functions of the Biblical Hebrew Dt (hitpael) stem, but the two reference grammars I had a look at do not agree on terminology: Waltke and O'Connor (An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax, §26.2f): The estimative-declarative reflexive is the counterpart to the Piel's use to esteem someone as in a state or to ...


6

Actually, German has even more ways to express progressive aspect: Ich bin am Gehen (am-Progressiv, it becomes more and more accepted) Ich bin beim Gehen (competitor to am-Progressiv) Ich bin im Gehen (very limited as it cannot be used for every verb and context. "im Gehen" means that you're about to go (ie. when someone calls you as you are about to ...


6

One has to be careful how the words Noun and Verb are understood, if one wants a good answer. Semanticists talk about Entities and Events, and leave Noun and Verb as formal categories, dependent on criteria of usage (can it be a subject? can it take a definite article?) instead of meaning. Frawley (Linguistic Semantics, 1992 Ch.3 "Entities", p.62) notes ...


6

As always, why questions are always bad questions to ask in linguistics if you're asking about some putative motivations of historical speakers. We don't have the data (with some rare exceptions like "freedom fries"). At best you can trace the historical developments within a language and note the differences between languages. This type of ...


6

This is the grammatical and rhetorical device usually called figura etymologica, but which the ancient grammarians called “derivatio”, where a finite verb (or a participle) is construed with an infinitive (or other nominal derivative) of the same verb. You can find some examples from European authors in Lausberg’s “Elemente der literarischen Rhetorik” par. ...


6

No. Your rule mostly works, but "in a row" fails to capture constructions like "He has definitely gone", where has is still an auxiliary. In fact, trying to analyse syntax just by considering the surface sequence is usually doomed to failure. Consider I am walking. and I went walking. Both have the same surface structure, but most analyses ...


6

That's not a generally accepted idea. Either you've misremembered, or the source you were reading was indeed marginal (the field of etymology, sad to say, sees a lot of cranks.) The definition of a "regular" verb is not very exact. As time changes, some verbs that were once regular become irregular due to sound changes, and some verbs that were once ...


6

As usual in language evolution, having two auxiliaries wasn't a goal, things just happened this way (and in fact the long-term evolution is towards a single auxiliary). There is an article in French Wikipedia that explains how the compound past tenses evolved in French (and to various extents in other Romance languages). My answer here is mostly a summary ...


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